Here's the ballot mailed in by Barry Stanton, ESPN news editor: Jack Morris, Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, Don Mattingly, B.J. Surhoff. I shit you not. B.J. Surhoff.

OK, a vote for Donnie Baseball is one thing (there's a generation of New York sportswriters who still have to adjust their khakis whenever Mattingly's name comes up); a vote for Tino is quite another. And a vote for both of them plus B.J. Surhoff — B.J. Surhoff — suggests we're in the presence of true madness.

And you know what? I love this ballot. There is wonderful bughouse comedy to this ballot. This is a ballot that eats crayons. I look at this ballot, and I hear tuba music. It is a great big shrieking monkey cage of a ballot, and I love it because that is exactly what the Hall of Fame deserves. We're talking about a hugely self-important institution populated by drunks and bigots and flakes and syphilitic halfwits that regularly goes through a massive, public spasm of pretending it's a priesthood. (America already has one of those institutions, anyway. It's called the Kennedys.)

So I'll just say it: I hate the Hall of Fame, and I hate its voting, and I hate that it makes otherwise reasonable sportswriters say stuff like this

Somebody said we are not the morality police, but yet I think we are. If we aren't, who is? Part of our job is that we are custodians of the game's history.

— and for that matter I hate that it's given reporters like Michael S. Schmidt, who isn't a journalist so much as a piss cup with a notebook, an annual opportunity to smarm about steroids, and beyond that I hate that the selection process is such an exercise in consecrating press-box fatheadedness that I'm not sure why they don't just conduct the vote via Around the Horn. An outfit like that has richly earned Barry Stanton and his crayons.

ESPN: Hall passes for Alomar, Blyleven [ESPN]